The former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), has launched an extensive investigation to determine the personnel responsible for leaking information about its chemical weapons, the Russian news agency Sputnik reported on November 2.
“HTS, the current front for the terrorist al-Nusra organization, and Jaysh al-Izza group, a key ally of al-Nusra, announced after a wide meeting … the formation of a committee for this purpose,” a local source familiar with the situation told Sputnik.
According to the source, the committee will interrogate fighters of HTS and Jaysh al-Izza in order to determine the source of the recent leaks. Members of the White Helmets organization will be also questioned.
During the last few months, anonymous sources leaked critical information about HTS’ chemical weapons to several Russian, Syrian and Lebanese news outlets. The information included details of how the radical group had moved dangerous chemical materials with help from its allies, including the White Helmets.
Earlier this year, Russia revealed that Western countries had supplied HTS with chemical weapons as a part of a plan to stage a chemical attack in northwestern Syria and lay blame on the Damascus government. Later when Russia and Turkey reached a deconfliction agreement, these countries ditched the plan. However, the chemical weapons remained in the hands of HTS.